NEWS

Hitchhike to Rhome Reissue Out Today

November 17, 2014 (2 weeks ago)

HITCHHIKE TO RHOME EXPANDED ANNIVERSARY REISSUE OUT TODAY

Now available as 2-CD (with 12 bonus tracks) or 2-LP package

GET THE LP >

GET THE CD >

iTUNES >

We’re pleased as punch to finally release the new, expanded Hitchhike to Rhome today!

Courtesy of Omnivore Recordings, the 2-CD version of Hitchhike To Rhome contains the original album, coupled with a second disc of those 12 rare and unreleased tracks, many mixed from the original multi-tracks for the first time by longtime Old 97’s engineer Rip Rowan. The double LP (limited edition first pressing on translucent orange vinyl) features the LP on three sides with six of the recently unearthed tracks on Side 4. The download card included gives the buyer the complete 2-CD program. Both formats include rare photos, memorabilia and notes from Ken Bethea.

The entire album has been remixed from original session tapes by Rip Rowan. Check out his blog post about the experience.

– – – – –

Don’t forget the December shows where we’ll be playing the album in its entirety as well as a 2nd set of favorites. The “Hitchhike to Home: 20th Anniversary of hitchhike to rhome” tour will visit 4 Texas cities:

Wednesday December 10 – San Antonio at Sam’s Joint with Deathray Davies
TIX >

Thursday December 11 – Austin at the Parish with the inimitable Homer Henderson One Man Band!
TIX >

Friday December 12 – Houston at legendary Fitzgerald’s with Deathray Davies
TIX >

Saturday December 13 – Dallas at the historic Majestic Theatre with Matt Hillyer
TIX >

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CD TRACK LIST:

Disc One

St. Ignatius

504

Drowning In The Days

Miss Molly

Dancing With Tears

4 Leaf Clover

Wish The Worst

Old 97’s Theme

Doreen

Hands Off

Mama Tried

Stoned

If My Heart Was A Car

Desperate Times

Ken’s Polka Thing

Tupelo County Jail

Disc Two

St. Ignatius (demo cassette version)

Drowning In The Days

(demo cassette version)

Making Love With You

(demo cassette version)


Stoned (demo cassette version)

Dancing With Tears (demo)*

Ivy (demo)*


Eyes For You*


Crying Drunk*


Victoria*


Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*

Alright By Me*


Desperate Times*

 

 

LP TRACK LIST

Side One

St. Ignatius

504

Drowning In The Days

Miss Molly

Dancing With Tears

Side Two

4 Leaf Clover

Wish The Worst

Old 97’s Theme

Tupelo County Jail

Doreen

Hands Off

Side Three

Mama Tried

Stoned

If My Heart Was A Car

Desperate Times

Ken’s Polka Thing

Tupelo County Jail

Side Four

Crying Drunk*


Dancing With Tears (demo)

Ivy (demo)*


Victoria*


Eyes For You*

Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*

* Previously unissued.

 

December HTR Mini-Tour

October 27, 2014

Old 97’s to perform at Dallas’ historic Majestic Theatre on Saturday, December 13 in celebration of their classic debut album’s 20th anniversary.

 

TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY OCTOBER 31

The festive evening will feature the band performing Hitchhike to Rhome in its entirety as well as a 2nd set of tunes from their extensive catalog. Come for an evening of nostalgia and revelry as the band weaves their way through their 20+ year history of songwriting and music.  Also, Old 97’s proudly welcome local honky-tonk hero Matt Hillyer to open the event with a solo set of his incredible talent.

The Majestic show coincides with the November 17 release of Omnivore Recordings expanded reissue of Hitchhike to Rhome on 2-CD, digital and — for the first time — on double LP. Included in the reissue is a treasure trove of never before heard out-takes and demos.

http://omnivorerecordings.com/press-release-old-97s-hithchike-to-rhome/

The “Hitchhike to Home: 20th Anniversary of hitchhike to rhome” tour will visit 4 Texas cities:

Wednesday December 10 – San Antonio at Sam’s Joint with Deathray Davies

Thursday December 11 – Austin at the Parish with the inimitable Homer Henderson One Man Band!

Friday December 12 – Houston at legendary Fitzgerald’s with Deathray Davies

Saturday December 13 – Dallas at the historic Majestic Theatre with Matt Hillyer

 

OLD 97’s’ CLASSIC DEBUT HITCHHIKE TO RHOME RECEIVES EXPANDED 20th ANNIVERSARY REISSUE ON OMNIVORE RECORDINGS

Out 11/17/14—1994 indie debut release now available as 2-CD (with 12 bonus tracks) or 2-LP package

 

PRE-ORDER TODAY >

The official press release:

DALLAS, Texas — The Old 97’s burst onto the alt-country scene in 1994 with their independently released debut, Hitchhike To Rhome. With subsequent albums on Bloodshot, Elektra, New West, and ATO Records, the quartet became one of the Americana genre’s most enduring bands.

To celebrate this anniversary, Omnivore Recordings will reissue Hitchhike, the band’s first album, with an expanded release on 2-CD, digital, and — for the first time — on double LP. Street date is November 17, 2014.

When band member and set co-producer Ken Bethea was revisiting the original tapes for this reissue, he discovered a treasure trove of eight extra tracks cut at the album sessions — many of which the band hadn’t even remembered recording. It seemed the perfect time to bring those previously unissued songs to light and add the tracks from their first four-song demo cassette to round out the early picture of the 97’s.

The 2-CD version of Hitchhike To Rhome contains the original album, coupled with a second disc of those 12 rare and unreleased tracks, many mixed from the original multi-tracks for the first time by longtime Old 97’s engineer Rip Rowan. The double LP (limited edition first pressing on translucent orange vinyl) features the LP on three sides with six of the recently unearthed tracks on Side 4. The download card included gives the buyer the complete 2-CD program. Both formats include rare photos, memorabilia and notes from Bethea.

The entire album has been remixed from original session tapes by Rip Rowan.

From the Too Far To Care reissue complete with demos (also available separately on vinyl as They Made A Monster), to the band’s sessions with the great Waylon Jennings, Omnivore continues to add to the Old 97’s legacy with this integral, early part of their history and catalog.

Return to the origins of the Old 97s with Return to Rhome!

– – – – –

B1DEeeKCAAAxNqA.jpg-large

– – – – –

Check out this blog post from engineer Rip Rowan >

– – – – –

CD TRACK LIST:

Disc One

St. Ignatius

504

Drowning In The Days

Miss Molly

Dancing With Tears

4 Leaf Clover

Wish The Worst

Old 97’s Theme

Doreen

Hands Off

Mama Tried

Stoned

If My Heart Was A Car

Desperate Times

Ken’s Polka Thing

Tupelo County Jail

 

Disc Two

St. Ignatius (demo cassette version)

Drowning In The Days

(demo cassette version)

Making Love With You

(demo cassette version)


Stoned (demo cassette version)

Dancing With Tears (demo)*

Ivy (demo)*


Eyes For You*


Crying Drunk*


Victoria*


Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*

Alright By Me*


Desperate Times*

 

 

LP TRACK LIST

Side One

St. Ignatius

504

Drowning In The Days

Miss Molly

Dancing With Tears

Side Two

4 Leaf Clover

Wish The Worst

Old 97’s Theme

Tupelo County Jail

Doreen

Hands Off

Side Three

Mama Tried

Stoned

If My Heart Was A Car

Desperate Times

Ken’s Polka Thing

Tupelo County Jail

Side Four

Crying Drunk*


Dancing With Tears (demo)

Ivy (demo)*


Victoria*


Eyes For You*

Old 97’s Theme Spgeddi*

* Previously unissued.

 

T-Shirt Design Contest

September 12, 2014

It’s been a couple of years since our last t-shirt design contest. And who can forget the last winner, Clay Billman’s excellent Bright Spark design? Well it’s that time again. We’ll be accepting designs from now till October 1, then we’ll post finalists on Facebook for feedback before the band makes their selection. “What’s in it for me?,” you ask? Let’s see:

 

WINNER
– An invitation to the sound check before the next live show of your choice*
– 1 CD or vinyl album of your choice from the old97s.com store
– The joy and satisfaction of having your shirt design printed and worn by Old 97’s fans everywhere
– 2 Tshirts featuring your design

FINALISTS
– A complete set of the Summer 2014 Tour poster set
Scuba Poster Alien Poster Soldier Poster

To enter, just email your design to noreplyold97s@gmail.com.

Some entries will be shared on social media along the way, but these shares may or may not be finalists when the time comes.

Have fun!

 

 

UPDATE

We’re a little behind schedule but you can now vote on the finalists on Facebook. Go here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

– * Some restrictions apply. I don’t what restrictions, it depends on the venue and random acts of nature and such. But we’ll do our damnedest. Just you wait.

Greetings fellow Wreckers! Along with the copious press interviews, both the band and Rhett did a load of live performances throughout the first three legs of touring. The following are enough super sessions to keep you entertained all weekend. Get comfy, because here… we… GO!

 

Prior to the start of the first touring dates, Rhett stopped by People Magazine studios in New York to perform Longer Than You’ve Been Alive here.

That same day Rhett and Murry stopped by Esquire Editor-in-Chief David Granger’s office to sing an Olivia Newton John staple here.

Several days before MMU was released, Rhett made a stop at KXT in Dallas to spread the word and play a handful of new songs and old favorites. Catch it here.

Old 97’s made another stop at World Cafe to talk with the incomparable David Dye. The power went out, but that didn’t stop the guys from rawking out in front of the enthusiastic, albeit overheated, in-studio crowd. There may have even been a panty or two tossed on stage in appreciation? Listen here.

Rhett spoke with the equally incomparable Robin Young from NPR’s Here and Now. The link is here.

IMG_6353

Both Rhett and Murry stopped by WYEP’s studio in Pittsburgh before their show at Mr. Small’s to share stories with Mike Sauter.
The small things like a breath before or after a song are what make an album sound live. “Our record begins with a sort of tired breath from Rhett, a weary one, but it ends with kind of a satisfied breath,” Hammond says.

The entire session can be streamed here.

IMG_6343

 

The band stopped by Bing Lounge to perform in front of an appreciative audience for KINK radio in Portland. The interview is here; Guadalajara here; Wasted here; Let’s Get Drunk here; Longer Than You’ve Been Alive here.

In Seattle, the 97’s stopped by KEXP’s station to talk shop and play a handful of songs from MMU for Jim Beckman. Here

Christian Shaeffer from KDHX in St. Louis caught up with the 97’s and got some interesting perspective from the guys before the show at the Ready Room. Find out what Murry meant when he stated “The band is like Mexican food.” The interview and live performance is here.

Prior to their Milwaukee date, Rhett talked via phone with WMSE’s Chicken Shack here.

Brad Savage from The Corner in Charlottesvile, Va posted this interview and live performance of Wasted, Let’s Get Drunk and Nineteen here.

Heather Anders of The River in Asheville, NC spends roughly 15 minutes chatting with Rhett and listening to him play Longer and Let’s Get Drunk here.

RiYL offers up a fantastic interview discussing, among other things, Rhett’s 911 experience, writing book reviews (Leonard Cohen’s bio, in particular), and Ovation guitars over whiskey and cheese backstage at New York’s City Winery here. This conversation may be my favorite of the bunch. They cover so many varied subjects, and Rhett is so relaxed. Maybe it was the whiskey. (insert winkie face here)

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.53.13 PM

We all know how witty Rhett is, listen as he holds his own going toe-to-toe with comedians on the following podcasts.

Throwing Shade’s Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi manically toss questions at Rhett on a shortened video clip here on Funny or Die. The entire interview (beginning at 40:40 in) is streaming here. They dish about hair highlights, flowbees, Mick Jagger’s throat, Axl Rose’s backstage behavior before Rhett sings a song from MMU.

Rhett spars with Adam Carolla on his podcast here (beginning 1:08:00 in). They talk middle-school sports, a crazy hotel incident with an unnamed celebrity and Snow Patrol. Does Rhett love them or despise them? You’ll have to listen to find out.

 

Other Extraneous Random Reviews/Photos:

Rhett’s AMA on Reddit here
Review of the gig at One-Eyed Jacks: here
Review of the show at Fitzgerald’s in Houston here
Review and photos from the Ready Room in St. Louis are here and here where this happened:

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.36.48 PM

 

Let’s not forget David Daley’s fabulous Salon article that got the ball rolling. It’s definitely worth another read here.  Mr. Miller doesn’t have to make everyone happy all the time, but he certainly has made his fan base ecstatic with this outstanding collection of songs.

And just for grins, here’s a terrific blast-from-the-past article I stumbled on with the Washington Post’s Shayla Thiel from way back in September of 1997. She speaks with all four band members. Ken even answers “a few key questions”. Enjoy!

 

New dates are posted on the site. Go pick a date or three, and don’t be left out of the fun of this tour!!

Our favorite foursome just finished the third leg of their tour in support of the superb Most Messed Up in Santa Fe before a much needed break. They have been getting rave reviews from fans and publications alike. I was lucky enough to catch them back-to-back on the second leg, and I can tell you first-hand, this tour is something special!! They all are revitalized, reinvigorated and ready to rock your faces off with the energy, swagger and bravado of their 20-something selves. This tour is not to be missed!

As you might imagine, they’ve been doing tons of press and appearances over the past three months. I shall effort to condense the copious copy and live interviews down to a somewhat manageable level. It’s tough because there is a lot of love flowing for these magnificent Texans, the most recent of which is Rolling Stone Magazine’s 45 Best Albums of 2014 So Far list. MMU logged an impressive #17 slot, topping The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen at #41. But, of course we all know this one is made of greatness.

OL3-0528-thumb-560x372

 

Get ready. Here comes an onslaught of great Q & As with our fantastic frontman:

Bill Rabinowitz of The Columbus Dispatch speaks to Rhett about longevity, the fans immediate embrace of these songs and Ken’s explanation of the adult themes to his kids.

”’I’ll just have to explain it to my kid. I’ll say, you know, sometimes grownups come through a hard time and you’ve got to come up with ways to express it and words to talk about it. It’s complicated being a grownup.’ I thought that was perfect. It is complicated being a grownup. That’s what this record is all about.”

You can read the entire article here, or if you prefer, listen to the phone interview here.

 

Jeff at Whopperjaw talks to Rhett about this newfound success 20 years in, the ups and downs of the music industry, and his words of wisdom to kids at his alma mater.

“A stupid career choice is way better than making a career choice that hurts your soul in the long run. The bottom has fallen out of art and music. I don’t want to lose art and music. I don’t want to live in that world.”

The link to the full article is here.

 

James Sullivan of The Boston Globe finds out how failing to keep up drink-for-drink with Tommy Stinson led to Stinson playing on several tracks on MMU. Sullivan ends the article with this happy truth:

If they’ve settled down in their private lives, they still know how to raise the roof onstage.
“We all feel pretty confident in our ability to rock,” Miller says. “I don’t think we feel stupid yet, shaking our asses and making loud noise.”

You can read other great quotes here.

 

Stephen M. Deusner  from CMT Edge and Rhett discuss the humanization of rock stars via social media and similarities between past characters and those featured on MMU.

An interesting observation you can read about here and ponder for yourself.

 

In the extensive cover story in the Illinois Entertainer, Rhett speaks about coming to terms with the Alt-Country label…
“For a long time, I think I was annoyed by the reductive nature of the label ‘alt-country’ and I wanted to announce to the world ‘Hey-I can do a lot of stuff, I can explore a lot of different avenues!'”

the liberating feeling of letting go of the need for doing the right thing and being perfect all the time, freeing him to write honestly…
“(Wasted) is sort of the thesis statement on the record … life is too short to be sitting around worrying about doing the right thing all the time.”

and his unexpected epiphany…
“I realized that the things I regret the most … are the things that I have not done. The things I was too scared to do.”

You’re going to want to take the time to read the entire article in which Rhett delves deeper into his mindset while penning MMU, talks a bit about his concern about his kids’ reaction to the album, and his upcoming solo effort. The link to the magazine is here.

 

With Andy Downing of ColumbusAlive, Rhett reflects on his 20 year career and his competitive nature concerning all-things Scrabble.

“Part of this record was allowing myself the luxury to reflect on the two decades I’ve spent in this band and the two-and-a-half decades I’ve spent as a professional musician,” he said. “People can smell when something is false, and so the best songs I’ve written are the ones that are the most honest and the most true to who I really am. Sometimes I’ll blow it up for the sake of a good story or for the sake of drama, but generally I’m that guy in those songs, and I’m just trying to tell something true to the world.”

You can read more here.

 

To Jeff Niesel of Cleveland Scene, Rhett confesses:
“Sometimes, you can do yourself a disservice by grasping toward universality. I love the idea of songs being applicable to everyone who listens to them. That said, sometimes, the most universal sentiments are the most personable and the most honest. In ‘Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,’ I talk about my job. It’s a really weird job. I don’t know of a lot of people who have been lead singers in rock bands for two decades. It’s a strange perspective I get to have. I love it. It’s weird. It’s also not what people think it is most of the time.”

Regarding the 97’s current onslaught of media buzz 20 years into their career, Rhett had this to say:

“I don’t know that I feel like anyone has taken us for granted. We’ve always had big appreciative audiences. It is a little weird 20 years in to have this newfound success, I guess. You know what they say: Better late than never. I’ll take it. I’ve seen both sides — pre-collapse and post-collapse — of the music business.”

There are other interesting tidbits in the full article here.

 

Rhett tackles a number of random, music-related questions on Yahooo, including which concert inspired him to be a musician, his pre-show ritual, and his go-to karaoke song. You can read his other fun answers here. Some of them may surprise you.

rhett-and-lydia-blog

 

Murry also got to weigh in on his reflections of Most Messed Up.

With The Advocate’s John Wirt, Murry shares what he finds special about the songs on MMU penned by who he calls the “best songwriter in Texas”:

What’s special about this record is that it’s autobiography about what was going on with Rhett. He was writing about tough times during middle life. And the songs are clever and funny. They’re Rhett at his best. Most Messed Up is the most cohesive batch of songs to ever appear on an Old 97’s album. The previous albums flow into each other, but this one is a singular snapshot of someone’s life.”

Check out his other impressions here.

(http://theadvocate.com/entertainment/9219574-31/country-meets-punk-in-the)

 

Murry had this reply when Jennifer Levin from SantaFeNewMexican.com stated (with MMU being louder, harder, and curse-laden) suddenly the Old 97’s aren’t so sweet.

“MMU is about behaving badly in the middle of your life. We’re singing about our problems; we’re singing about pain that’s going on right now … We write about real stuff, some rough stuff that has gone on. I’m proud of that.”

Also, Murry sums up life’s pathos with the most succinct quote of all:

Men can get in a bad way by a girl.

Here, Here. You can read more here.

 

In a fun interview with Popmatters Jennifer Kelly, Murry starts off with a harrowing, wintry tale in a van, with the band and a whiskey bottle.

He goes on to talk about the “unrequited love of his life”, how the band were amazingly present during recording…

“…I think there was no way this record was not going to be loose and honest and thus very fresh and very present. That’s the first word that jumps out to me when I heard the record … the sheer presence of it. I haven’t really heard this band be this present in a while.”

and how Longer Than You’ve Been Alive teleports him back in time to the lean years huddled in that van on an icy night and speaks to the indelible bond between four musical brothers.

“When I hear that song, I’m in that van with that whiskey bottle freezing to death with these three guys. I feel the bridges between us when I hear that song. I feel the things that bind us together when I hear that song.”

Catch the rest of the conversation here. Jennifer’s right. As the title of the article states, there is no reason this band couldn’t last forever.

Amen.

 

 

Most Messed Up Commentary pt 2
Ken Bethea, Stage Right

(Also see Part 1)

Wasted

The first time I heard Rhett sing this song I thought it was about getting drunk and I didn’t find it all that interesting. When I realized it was actually about wasting your life away (whether that be holding a guitar or sitting in a cubicle), I did a 180. While it may seem obvious that spending 21 years “dancing on the edge of the big black void” has been a no-brainer of a career decision, it is not.

Through the years, I’ve made references to other songs I like with my guitar parts (Kiss’s “Great Expectations” on “Barrier Reef”, for instance). The melody on the guitar outro is my little nod to the vocal at the end of Pulp’s “Common People”. A song that I suspect, but can’t confirm, was the greatest song of the 90’s.

Guitar 1 – Black Telecaster> Matchless Chieftain
Guitar 2 – Landric Chief> Matchless Chieftain. I have the Chief tuned way down to C I think. It’s what I’m playing all those low notes on.

Guadalajara

Ride the wild waves!!! I love me some chances to play surf/Dead Kennedy’s style guitar. A couple of years ago we were using a Adam and the Ants song called “Los Rancheros” as walk on music. The intro to “Guadalajara” is that kind of sound. We were all really happy when we put that together. We just put it in the set last week and it’s great fun playing it live.

Intro Guitar – Gretsch Tennessee Rose> Fender Twin Reverb turned loud as possible with the Reverb on 10
Main Guitar – Gretsch Tennesee Rose> Matchless Chieftain

The Disconnect

This song reminds me of something we would have done around our Fight Songs era. Sort of a mix between “The Villain” and “ Indefinitely”. Clean solo. Cool vocals, especially at the end with Rhett and Murry doing that call and response stuff.

Guitar 1 – Black Telecaster> Matchless Chieftain
Guitar 2 and Solo – Landric Telecaster> Matchless Chieftain

The Ex of All You See

It took us a while to figure out what this song was about. It started as more of a sad country song but that really wasn’t working that well as a band. It didn’t feel fresh. Philip and Salim got us to try more of garage rock stomp and the song took off. It let me play those Who-style big chords which isn’t normal. I also like the way they let me choke my guitar off at the very end of the song in the mix.

Guitar 1 – Gretsch Sparklejet> 50’s Era Gibson Les Paul amp
Guitar 2 – Can’t remember bleh


Intervention and Most Messed Up

The two songs that the full band played with Tommy Stinson on. We played these songs several times each, back to back that night after drinks had been served. Pretty fun. They are both pretty much just straight blues songs, which we never do. That’s also fun but I can’t imagine being in a blues band and just doing this night after night. Seems like it would get fairly stale.

Ken – Gretsch Tennesee Rose> Matchless Chieftain
Tommy – G&L ASAT (Same guitar that’s on “Salome”> A Fender amp we set up in the bathroom.

Career Opportunities (pre-order bonus track)

I had been thinking that as much Clash as we reference within our own songs, we had never covered a Clash song at any time, even in the beginning when we did lots of covers. We were looking for covers for bonus tracks and I suggested “Career Opportunities” since it’s theme matched the rest of the record. We’ve just started adding it to the live set and it’s awesome fun to play.

We did a few other covers. “Jeepster” by T. Rex and a song about Cupid by a 60’s band I had never heard of, but Rhett’s uncle played in the original band and he also plays on our cover. It seems like we may have done one more but I can’t remember.

That was pretty much the session. We hope you sweet people are having fun with the album.